Miles: 24

Camp: My CDT mile 2298

Besides the fact that it was noticeably warmer this morning, the first thing I noticed was my sore knee. The pain was sharp, but there was still no swelling and I could move around ok. I took some ibuprofen and tried to keep it to myself. The water was half a mile back on trail and feeling rather down about my knee…sweet ol Uber got me a liter. I don’t usually like having other people do things for me that I should be able to do by myself, but a little humbling shouldn’t  hurt.

My knee felt pretty bad on the climb out of camp and going down the other side was worse. I worried a lot and wondered how much I could ultimately take if it stayed like this. As the terrain leveled out though, it was as if something loosened up and my knee actually felt better. It was still sore, but nowhere near the pain from earlier. I was cautiously optimistic. 

As the day wore on the discomfort/pain seemed to ebb and flow; almost always hurting when going downhill and improving with uphill or level terrain. It never got any worse either, a sign I like to take as positive. I remarked to Limey about how I had a blister that formed where I thought I had some nerve damage to my toe (from the snow), and how that was a good sign because I could feel the toe again! He laughed about how crazy we are and I found the humor in all of it. I looked to his 2 knee braces (his knees hyper extend) and knew I had a peer in the pain game. We all feel the effects of the trail at this point, we all raise our threshold for pain as our egos move in for the finish line. With only 300 miles left you are going to have to physically remove us to make us stop. Now, I’m smart enough to know when the pain hits that mark, but for now I will see how far I can push myself for this. It is only 2 more weeks, I can put up with a lot for only 2 weeks…and the payoff is so sweet.

The day was so perfect otherwise. The temperature was cool enough to make for pleasant hiking without that frosty chill, snow melting from trees and grass, the sun shining and the terrain was just the right amount of up and down. If it weren’t for my knee and the new blister, like an old friend swinging in for one more visit; if not for them, today would have been pretty perfect. I guess it was after all, because every day on the CDT is perfectly imperfect, just like all of us. 

All together it is the right amount of crazy to keep life interesting. 

Dinner: tuna and black pepper cheddar in tortillas with horseradish.